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1889 Chicago White Sox (vs. Boston) National League Scorecard - Baldwin World Tour Cover
Starting Bid - $1,500, Sold For - $2,938
When the Chicago Nationals returned from the historic World Tour of 1888-1889, the magnitude of their accomplishments continued to be celebrated throughout the year. One of the most striking ways in which the tour was memorialized was in the production and sale of a beautiful series of baseball programs produced for Chicago White Stockings games during the 1889 season. These were not the standard four-page scorecards that were also available, but a special premium series of extraordinary production quality. The covers to the specially produced programs, considered among the most attractive ever designed, feature individual portraits of various Chicago players, surrounded by four scenes representing the World Tour. The offered example, one of fewer than ten examples known (of all players; their rarity today no doubt related to their greater cost in 1889), features the portrait image of World Tour pitcher Mark Baldwin surrounded by four different color illustrations titled, respectively, "Uncle Sam's Farewell in California," "Arrival in Australia," "Reception in England" (showing Anson shaking hands with a dignitary, with other players behind), and "At the Pyramids" (showing ballplayers riding camels, in uniform, with pyramids in background). Baldwin did not actually play for Chicago in 1889, suggesting the possibility that these special World-Tour programs were printed before the season started. Baldwin did play with Chicago in 1887 and 1888, and was on the World Tour, but he jumped to Columbus of the American Association in 1889, where he led the league in losses with 34. Ironically, the following year he jumped to Chicago of the Player's League, where his 34 wins was tops in the league. The interior pages include numerous advertisements (including Old Judge Cigarettes), brief biographies, and final statistics for Chicago players for the 1888 season. Also included, of course, are the scorecard pages. This program commemorates a game between Chicago and Boston on June 29th (date preprinted on the interior scorecard section). The preprinted lineups include Kelly, Brouthers, Ganzell, Radbourne, and Quinn for Boston, and Anson, Ryan, Van Haltren, Duffy, Burns, and Pfeffer for Chicago. Pfeffer's name is significant here, for he was one of the earliest baseball player/entrepreneurs and this program, as noted on the front cover, was produced by his publishing company. These rare sixteen-page programs are extremely substantial. Each is a magnificent tribute to the famous World Tour of 1888-1889, as well as a masterpiece of nineteenth-century lithography. Extraordinary both as an early program and as a nineteenth-century display piece. The scoring pages have been very neatly scored in pencil and record an 8-2 victory by Chicago. The program (5.5 x 9 inches) displays the year "1889" written in pencil along the top of the front cover and a very slight crease (of little consequence, mentioned for the sake of accuracy) in the upper right corner. In Excellent condition overall. Reserve $1,500. Estimate $3,000/$5,000. SOLD FOR $2,938
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